When your Valentine is another baseball umpire

When your Valentine is another baseball umpire
Wilfredo Montoya (home plate) and Sheyla Baez (second base) are life partners. They served on the same umpiring crew during the Central American and Caribbean Games Qualifier.

Umpires in a baseball or softball game must be able to communicate clearly and calmly while having a great connection with each other to give the ultimate performance. During the Central American and Caribbean Games Baseball Qualifier semifinal when Honduras defeated El Salvador, 8-4, on 10 February in Managua, Nicaragua, to advance to the final, there was a very special one. Wilfredo Montoya led the umpiring crew at home plate while Oscar Matamoros served at first base, Jaime Ramirez was the third base umpire and Montoya knew the second base umpire better than anyone else. Sheyla Baez is his partner.

In 2016, Baez became the first woman to serve as the home plate umpire in the Superior National Baseball Championship German Pomares, the league managed by the Nicaragua Superior Baseball Commission on a mandate by the Nicaragua Institute for Sports (INS).

Montoya served in the 2022 post season of the Nicaragua Professional Winter League (LBPN).

"We had a chance to work together. Not every couple can share an assignment. At the end of the game, we could talk it over and discuss what didn't work on the field," Montoya commented.

"He taught me a lot about umpiring," Baez added, "I do appreciate that."

The love story started at a National championship held by FENIBA, the Nicaraguan Baseball Federation. "All the umpires had accommodation at the Institute of Sports, so we got to know each other," Montoya explained. "There was chemistry between us. It took us here."

"Thank God, we managed to become a stable couple," Baez added. "We are looking forward to the future."

"When I watch Sheila umpire, and I don't work the same game, when we are home, I tell her about things I don't like," said Montoya. "I don't like correcting her, we are all humans, and we make mistakes. At the same time, I like it, because it's how we met and we don't want to change that. I can correct the umpire, but it's different if I think of her as my life partner."